In honor of our "honeymoon week," I thought I'd post about our 12-day honeymoon in five cities and two different countries... that was free! (Read the full travel journal here.) Okay, I admit it, my post title is a little bit "click bait" material, but I'm really serious that our honeymoon was free (to us). Here's how...
1. Honeyfund Registry! This will only apply to honeymoon trips -- but if you are 28 years old and now have two of nearly every household item when you get married -- I strongly recommend adding a honeymoon registry. It's a creative alternative for people who prefer to give gift cards, and it was so fun to think "we are getting our passes at the Louvre that our friend Erin "gave" us!" The only downside is that there is a tiny processing fee, but I think it's worth it to provide that gifting platform.
2. Travel rewards as far as you can! In my opinion, travel points are the number one benefit of having a credit card. We combined both of our current rewards + sky miles and had enough to book free flights from Nashville (connecting through NYC) to Dublin. (Around $700 worth each.) We were unsure if we wanted to cram Ireland into the front end of our honeymoon, but being able to use points to book those tickets made it an obvious choice. Also, we booked separately so we could use the points from two different cards. Two computers... same time... "I'm selecting seat 30A, get 30B 30B! Hurry 30B!"
3. Mix it up! Now this third element some people may not be into for a honeymoon, but this is one way we take very affordable Europe trips. First, do you know anyone or have any places to stay a few nights abroad? Second, do any small towns have super affordable B&B's, Air BnB, or are there some nice, modern hostels in a big city where you will be? I say nice and modern, because the difference between one hostel and another could be like the set of a horror movie vs. the set of The Real World. If you can weave in days at those spots to your itinerary, then some of that money saved could be used to stay in a castle for a few nights or eat at some over-the-top restaurants. Which is so worth it to me!!!
Those three elements resulted in our trip costing basically what we would normally spend living daily life with gas and food -- (About $600 total) That's $50 a day! I used a calculator, people, it's true!
Then guess what horror/miracle happened? The lady at the Paris airport check-in desk sold our tickets minutes before we could check-in. Then they couldn't get us back on the flight at that point, so we got a voucher worth almost exactly $600! Now, isn't that funny? That little inconvenience made our honeymoon 100% free, which is still pretty hilarious to think about.
But just in case anyone reading is already married (or not getting married) and not having the option of Honeyfund... or is slap-out of travel points... and since no one is planning on missing flights and getting free vouchers... I'll still include the rough breakdown of what our budget was like. Also I like even numbers, so I'm going to round up!
Planes, Trains, & Automobiles
Ireland Rental Car (3 days)
Dublin car park (1 day)
Roundtrip flight from Dublin to Paris (2 people)
Roundtrip train ticket from Paris to Strasbourg (2 people)
Paris metro tickets + 1 taxi ride
Small hotel in Ennis, Ireland (1 night)
B&B in Clifden, Ireland (1 night)
5 star hotel in Dublin (1 night)
5 nights at our friends' flat
Air BnB Paris flat (2 nights)
Modern airport hotel in Dublin (1 night)
Food & Attractions
Restaurant dinners in Ireland (3 nights)
Restaurant dinners in Strasbourg (4 nights)
Restaurant dinners in Paris (2 nights)
Lunches, snacks, and groceries
Kylemore Abbey tickets (2 people)
Louvre tickets (2 people)
Alsatian Museum tickets (2 people)
So even without our Honeyfund, we would've squeaked by just under $1000 per person. With no sky miles it would've been double that, but even a week at Disney for two people is basically the same amount we spent on 12 days seeing two countries and five cities! Now let it be known that I'm not knocking Disney, I can't wait to take Ro one day... but just sayin'.
Maybe this will be inspiration for someone to get creative and go abroad!
For those of you who can't understand how or why two newlyweds wanted to hop around to all of those cities on their honeymoon, I'll make another post of what that kind of timeline and itinerary looks like -- along with our favorite spots that were so affordable yet still AMAZING.
Anyone else discover an amazing budget secret or awesome cheap spots when traveling?
PLEASE SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!